Never Trump columnist George Will predicted last year that should President Donald Trump be defeated, his opponents would “clear the ground and start over.”
Yet as Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard pointed out in a piece last week, polling data suggests that Trump’s influence isn’t going to end anytime soon, even if he’s out of office.
A Rasmussen survey published last week found that some 72% of likely Republican voters regard the president as being a “role model” for the GOP.
That stands in sharp contrast to just 24% who would like to see “the average Republican in Congress” as a template for the GOP.
Looking to 2024
Among voters as a whole, the response was more nuanced, with 40% saying the party should emulate the president compared to 45% who favor the average Republican representative.
Interestingly, Rasmussen recorded a substantial enthusiasm gap when it looked at the reason why supporters of the two major candidates cast their ballots.
“Looking back at the presidential election, Trump voters overwhelmingly say they voted for the president, while a sizable number of Biden supporters admit they were voting against Trump rather than for the former vice president,” the research firm explained.
Despite an affection for Trump, the Rasmussen poll also found that 62% of Republicans “think their party should look for a fresh face to run for president in 2024. ”
The president himself may have considered the findings, as Bedard stated that, “Trump has told allies that he does want to run again in 2024.”
Who will take Trump’s place as leader of the party isn’t clear, although Bedard pointed to polls that show “those linked to Trump, including Vice President Mike Pence and son Donald Trump Jr., rank at the top of alternative candidates.”
If Trump should be forced to leave office this month and then seek reelection in four years, he will still be just five months older than former Vice President Joe Biden is now.
As of now, only one president has served two non-consecutive terms, with former President Grover Cleveland losing the election of 1888 to Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison and then going on to win the election of 1892.